Realization of a Quantum Integer-Spin Chain with Controllable Interactions in a Trapped Ion Quantum Simulator
Trapped-ion quantum simulators have proven useful in exploring quantum-many-body physics that is difficult to examine in condensed-matter experiments or using classical simulation. Here, we use spin-dependent forces to modulate the Coulomb interaction to engineer an XY Hamiltonian with tunable, long-range couplings between effective spin-1 particles. We observe the time evolution of the system and verify its coherence by entangling a pair of three-level particles with 86% fidelity. By adiabatically ramping a global field, we produce ground states of the XY model, and we demonstrate an instance where the ground state cannot be created without breaking the same symmetries that protect the topological Haldane phase. This experimental platform enables future studies of symmetry-protected order in spin-1 systems and their use in quantum applications.